I stand by Jack Stuef, one of the funniest writers writing
Yes, I know Jack Stuef’s joke was not funny and he crossed a line, like so many comedians do as they play with boundaries of propriety to take digs at reality. I’m not going to defend the joke. But Jack Stuef is still one of the funniest current events writers out there, hands down.
Let’s get real: it was one joke. Denouncement might be a little warranted, but Dave Weigel excoriating Wonkette is a little ridiculous. Even worse is the rightwing doing the same.
We live in a country where a man forwards bestiality porn and racist chain e-mails as “jokes” and wins the Republican nomination for Governor of New York (Carl Paladino). We live in a country where the rightwing says next-to-nothing when their leader Rush Limbaugh mocks Michael J. Fox for his Parkinson’s. Nick Ayres, Tim Pawlenty’s new campaign manager, ridiculed New York Governor David Paterson because he’s blind. Chelsea Clinton was also a target of ridicule during her father’s Presidency:
“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.” – John McCain in 1998
The rightwing can again engage in their indignation, even though their own glass house is nothing but broken windows.
It’s one joke that went too far on an edgy political satire website.
Below are some more examples from Russell King of the “Family Values” party’s musings (and the people who said these things, like Rush Limbaugh and Nick Ayres, are all still successful conservatives or received little condemnation from their fellow partisans):
- call members of Congress n*gger and f*ggot when they disagree with them on policy;
- elected leaders who say “I’m a proud racist”;
- state that America has been built by white people;
- say that poor people are poor because they’re rotten people, call them “parasitic garbage” or say they shouldn’t be allowed to vote;
- call women bitches and prostitutes just because you don’t like their politics ( re - pea -ted - ly );
- assert that the women who are serving our nation in uniform are hookers;
- mock and celebrate the death of a grandmother because you disagree with her son’s politics;
- declare that those who disagree with them are shown by that disagreement to be not just “Marxist radicals” but also monsters and a deadly disease killing the nation (this would fit in the hyperbole and history categories, too);
- joke about blindness;
- advocate euthanizing the wives of your political opponents;
- taunt people with incurable, life-threatening diseases — especially if you do it on a syndicated broadcast;
- equate gay love with bestiality — involving horses or dogs or turtles or ducks — or polygamy, child molestation, pedophilia;
- casually assume that only white males look “like a real American”;
- assert presidential power to torture a child by having his testicles crushed in front of his parents to get them to talk, order the massacre of a civilian village and launch a nuclear attack without the consent of Congress;
- attack children whose mothers have died;
- call people racists without producing a shred of evidence that they said or done something that would even smell like racism — same for invoking racially charged “dog whistle” words (repeatedly);
- condemn the one thing that every major religion agrees on;
- complain that we no longer employ the tactics we once used to disenfranchise millions of Americans because of their race;
- blame the victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks for their suffering and losses;
- celebrate violence, joke about violence, prepare for violence or use violent imagery, “fun” political violence, hints of violence, threats of violence (this one is rather explicit), suggestions of violence or actual violence (and, really, suggesting anal rape with a hot piece of metal is beyond the pale); and
- incite insurrection telling people to get their guns ready for a “bloody battle” with the president of the United States.
So please spare everyone the moral outrage.